Types of Higher Education Institutions

1 : University

Description:Universities offer education and training in multiple subjects, and at all levels; they also carry out research

2 : Academy

Description:Academies carry out higher and in-service training programs as well as conducting research

3 : Institute

Description:institutes may be an independent institution in its own right, or an academic division within a university. They provide specialist training in specific areas

4 : Conservatoire

Description:The conservatoire provides specialised musical training

topPre-Higher Education System

Age of



Structure of School System

Pre-Primary :

Length of program:2

Age level from:3

Age level to:5

Primary :

Length of program:4

Age level from:6

Age level to:9

General Secondary :

Length of program:5

Age level from:10

Age level to:14

Complete Secondary :

Length of program:2

Age level from:15

Age level to:17

Certificate/Diploma awarded at end:Certificate of Complete Secondary Education

Technical Secondary :

Length of program:3

Age level from:15

Age level to:18

Certificate/Diploma awarded at end:Certificate of Complete Secondary Specialized Education

Description of School System

Primary education lasts four year and covers grades I to IV. General secondary education lasts five years and covers grades V to IX, and successful completion is required to advance to the final level of secondary education, which lasts two years, and covers grades X to XI. At the end of this stage, successful students receive the Certificate of Complete Secondary Education.

topHigher Education System


Higher education is governed by the Cabinet of Ministers and the Ministry of Education. The higher education system consists of state and private institutions. Azerbaijan joined the Bologna process in 2005, and it defined the contours of the reforms carried out in the higher education field. A number of institutions are overseen by other ministries, such as the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Health.


Law on Education (2009)

Languages of Instruction

Azerbaijani, Russian, English, Turkish

Stages of Higher Education

University level first stage : Bakalavr (Bachelor)

Description:This stage lasts for four to five years and leads to the Bachelor's degree (Bakalavr).

University level second stage : Magistr (Master)

Description:During the second stage, which lasts between one-and-a-half and two years and leads to the Master's degree (Magistr), students acquire in-depth knowledge and professional training.

University level third stage : Doctor

Description:The best graduates of the Master stage are admitted to the doctoral stage. After successful completion of their studies (two or three years), they obtain the Doctoral degree (Ph.D).

Training of HE Teachers

While there is no specific training for teaching in higher education, a PhD is usually required for academic staff; in some cases Master's degree holders will be accepted

Education Exchange Programs



Governing bodies and other organizations / associations

Ministry of Science and Education

Street:49 Khatai Avenue




Contacts:Emin Amrullayev (Head), Job title : Minister

Agency for Quality Assurance in Education

Role:A public legal entity under the umbrella of the Ministry of Science and Education and is a professional and specialized body in the field of independent assessment of the quality of higher, secondary and additional education.

Street:Q. Qarayev Avenue 2B Baku Technical College




Contacts:Ulkar Sattarova (Head), Job title : Chairperson of the Executive Board

Bodies Responsible for Recognition

Agency for Quality Assurance in Education

Recognition for institution:no

Recognition for profession:no

Street:Q. Qarayev Avenue 2B Baku Technical College




Secondary School Credentials Required for University Level Admission

Certificate of General Education

Requirement for:All higher education institutions

Admission Test

Students must sit for a National Entrance examination.

Foreign Students Admission

Admission Requirements:For admission to higher education institutions, foreign students must submit a document proving they have completed secondary education.

Health:Foreign students must submit a health certificate.

Language Proficiency:One-year preparatory language courses are organized for those students who have no knowledge one of the three languages of instruction (Azerbaijani, Russian or English)

Entry Regulations:Visas are not required for students from Turkey and CIS (the Commonwealth of Independent States) countries.

topRecognition of Studies

System of Recognition

The Agency for Quality Assurance in Education carries out recognition of overseas qualifications at bachelor's and master's levels as well as for basic higher medical education.

Multilateral Agreements

Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications Concerning Higher Education in the European Region - CETS 165 (1999)


Certificate of General Education

Description:The secondary school leaving certificate is conferred after eleven years' primary and secondary education. It is one of the prerequisites for entry to higher education.


Description:The Bachelor's degree is conferred after studies lasting four years (240 to 300 ECTS, and 300-360 ECTS for medical education)

Credential required for entry:Certificate of General Education


Description:The Magistr is conferred after 1 1/2 to two years' study beyond the Bachelor's degree (90 or 120 ECTS).

Credential required for entry:Bakalavr


Description:Postgraduate/doctoral degree which is awarded at least three years after the Master's degree and the presentation and defence of a thesis.

Credential required for entry:Magistr

topData Provided by





IAU from the EACEA publication 'Overview of the Higher Education System - Azerbaijan, 2017' and the Ministry of Education, Accreditation and Nostrification Bureau, April 2020. Bodies updated September 2023.

Updated on 21-04-2020